What you need to know
The ABCs of brushing
- Put about 1 cm of toothpaste on the brush.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, with the bristles below the gum line at the bottom of your teeth.
- Brush for at least two minutes.
- Use a gentle rotating motion.
- Clean all the surfaces of every tooth.
- Brush your tongue.
- Rinse your toothbrush and leave it out to dry.
Don’t brush your teeth too hard: it can wear them down and cause gum recession.
Sometimes your gums bleed when you first start flossing. If this doesn’t stop after several days, you should consult your dentist. The first sign of gingivitis is bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth.
Dental floss lets you remove the plaque that you can’t reach with a toothbrush. That’s why it is important to floss every day, preferably before you go to bed.
Dental plaque is an invisible film that sticks to your teeth and builds up day after day. When plaque is not removed daily, it calcifies and leaves a hard deposit called tartar that accumulates over time. The build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to diseases of the gums (gingivitis) and the bones that support your teeth (periodontitis). Tartar can only be removed by a cleaning at your dentist’s office.